I finally watched this recently — It was so real — and brought me to tears — I needed to lie down afterwards. But I feel so driven to share it — this is the reality of how care homes have/have not been supported through COVID, and it’s important to say MHA are a great provider. I worry about all the others that don’t have the same levels of great leadership, compassion, confidence, staff, budgets and experience for such emergencies.
This emotive piece showcasing the journey MHA took to manage COVID amongst residents and staff. As of the piece going live on the 3rd June: 398 residents and 3 members of staff have died. 90 percent of their homes had contracted it, and they had a recovery rate of 930. 1 in 10 residents have died from COVID.
It highlights so many of the challenges that the care sector had to somehow summon all their internal creativity and resilience that we need to be able to find a way though.
Sam Monaghan - the CEO of MHA Care Homes, they look after 17,000 older people across Britain, MHA is one of the UK’s largest charities providing adult social care.
‘Many residents who had a good few years of healthy lives ahead of them, became frail very quickly and it was devastating to watch. We were completely on our own’
The themes that come out for me:
- The lack of Access to PPE
They promised us testing day in and day out — and we never got it. Homes have been forced to go elsewhere to get supplies — Our normal budgets for PPE are 5–600k a year and in the last 5 weeks I have spent 1.5 million.
- Clear injustices between care homes & hospitals
We got too little — too late, access to support/guidance and the parallels with what hospitals were receiving.
- Lack of testing for residents and staff
If we had testing sooner we could have saved lives…We can’t understand why weren’t we testing, tracking and tracing like other countries that have successfully created a track and trace system?
- Forcing care homes into corners
The government advice originally said there was no need to get a COVID test for a resident returning from a hospital to a care home. This forced friction on the care homes and hospitals.
Imagine if thing had been different. Truly different…
- Imagine If… Everyone had been truly listened to…
Imagine if every care home had been listened to, if every resident and member of staff who had contracted symptoms had good access to a test and trace set up at scale and speed.
- Imagine If… Everyone had access to a peer-to-peer community…
Imagine if every care home had access to a peer-led-community, in other countries as well as in the UK, so that they can be able to really learn from and feed from other peoples experiences at a time of emergency.
- Imagine If…Every home had a COVID - Treasure Chest
Imagine if each care home had a lockdown box which contains everything that they need for a lock down COVID experience including all their PPE.
- Imagine If… Every Care Home have spaces to unpick…
Imagine if each home has space to really dig deep, reflect and understand what happened. And given the space to learn what works and didn’t and how we collectively respond and prepare for the next wave. Let’s face it these care homes will be experts next time around.